Best of KC: Julian - Upscale Comfort Food
Last night I treated The Stallion to dinner at Julian. It's not often that I'm able to do something like this, so he was pretty excited. And I was excited to not make dinner. And, as it turns out, we inadvertently celebrated our one year pre-anniversary. In exactly one year, we will be getting married on a beach in Mexico. I'm so glad we decided to commemorate the occasion.
Julian is in Brookside - it took over the building Joe D's was in after it closed. It's fairly new, and I've heard good things, so I figured we'd ignore the usual suspects and try something new.
Julian has now become one of the usual suspects. My entire meal and experience there was perfection.
It was the perfect night to eat out on their patio, which is exactly what I was in the mood for. What I was in the mood to eat was an entirely different story. Because I had the hardest time figuring it out. After hours of deliberating, I finally decided on my cocktail: dirty vodka martini, straight up.
Julian's well vodka is McCormick's 360 brand, which is sustainable and environmentally-friendly and all other sorts of things that make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. And I'm not talking about the feeling of the vodka going down. Although that makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, too.
Hopefully my vodka choice will make up for the fact that earlier that day I was forced to fill my car with BP gas on a business trip. I thought I was going to vomit. Please forgive me. I had no other choice.
The Stallion and I both started with salads, not pictured. It seems that I momentarily forgot about this little ol' thing I have called a 'blog'.
My salad was absolutely exquisite. Divine. It may even be the best salad I've ever had in my life. For serious. Arugula salad with roasted shallot vinaigrette, bacon, and artichokes. The bacon is house-made - they cure their own pork belly. The Stallion was extremely jealous when he saw bacon on my plate. That's what he gets for not reading the menu thoroughly and skipping over anything that starts with arugula!
The flavors were perfectly balanced, the salad perfectly dressed. And the portion size - like each dish we had that night - was perfect. Just enough to satisfy, but not too much, leaving you still wanting - just a little bit.
The Stallion got the Caesar salad. It was tasty. We both agreed that I won this round, but this was one solid Caesar.
Then my dinner came. About the time that I took my first over-the-top bite, it occurred to me that I should be documenting this experience so I could share it with all you wonderful people.
This is the seared halibut with quinoa, lentils, and coconut curry vinaigrette. Again, Julian's chef Celina Tio knocked it out of the park. I loved the coconut and curry combination in this dish. And it was not over-seasoned. I like my food simple and tasting like itself. And it was healthy! Lean protein and whole grain. Which, as you will see later, entitled me to dessert. Obviously.
Meat and potatoes (kind of). I wonder who this dinner might belong to? This is Julian's crispy pork shoulder with cheesy grits and chard. Which is a vegetable. So I've got to give The Stallion credit for that one. This dish was superb. (but I still think the score is ck - 2, Stallion - 0)
I tried to convince The Stallion that we should go to TCBY for dessert on our way home. But he was still hungry. And impatient. So he asked for the dessert menu instead.
Which is fine. Because I'd had my eye on the Tres Leches cake from the moment we'd arrived. I've never had it before, but have always wanted to try it. Julian makes it with evaporated milk, whole milk, and condensed milk, and serves it with maciated blackberries and a wee bit of honey ice cream. Oh my, my, my. It was everything I'd ever dreamed of and then some. A perfect way to end my meal. The cake was the texture of cornbread which held up beautifully despite being soaked in milk.
The Stallion ordered the baked chocolate puddin' with a ginger donut. The pudding had fleur de sel on top. The salt was his favorite part. It was pretty darn good.
But. At the end of the day, the score was definitely carlyklock - 3, Stallion - 0. And yet we were both winners. And we'll definitely be back.
Labels: best of KC